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Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace
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Penguin Publishing Group 2012
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The acclaimed New York Times–bestselling biography and "emotionally detailed portrait of the artist as a young man" (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)In the first biography of the iconic David Foster Wallace, D.T. Max paints the portrait of a man, self-conscious, obsessive and struggling to find meaning. If Wallace was right when he declared he was "frightfully and thoroughly conventional," it is only because over the course of his short life and stunning career, he wrestled intimately and relentlessly with the fundamental anxiety of being human. In his characteristic lucid and quick-witted style, Max untangles Wallace's anxious sense of self, his volatile and sometimes abusive connection with women, and above all, his fraught relationship with fiction as he emerges with his masterpiece Infinite Jest. Written with the cooperation of Wallace's family and friends and with access to hundreds of unpublished letters, manuscripts and journals, this captivating biography unveils the life of the profoundly complicated man who gave voice to what we thought we could not say.
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Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/30/2012
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781101601112
ASIN:
B007V65ODE
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APA Citation (style guide)

D. T. Max. (2012). Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

D. T. Max. 2012. Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. Penguin Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

D. T. Max, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. Penguin Publishing Group, 2012.

MLA Citation (style guide)

D. T. Max. Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. Penguin Publishing Group, 2012. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story
fullDescription
The acclaimed New York Times–bestselling biography and "emotionally detailed portrait of the artist as a young man" (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)
In the first biography of the iconic David Foster Wallace, D.T. Max paints the portrait of a man, self-conscious, obsessive and struggling to find meaning. If Wallace was right when he declared he was "frightfully and thoroughly conventional," it is only because over the course of his short life and stunning career, he wrestled intimately and relentlessly with the fundamental anxiety of being human. In his characteristic lucid and quick-witted style, Max untangles Wallace's anxious sense of self, his volatile and sometimes abusive connection with women, and above all, his fraught relationship with fiction as he emerges with his masterpiece Infinite Jest. Written with the cooperation of Wallace's family and friends and with access to hundreds of unpublished letters, manuscripts and journals, this captivating biography unveils the life of the profoundly complicated man who gave voice to what we thought we could not say.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 9, 2012
        Reviewed by Gabe HabashThe success of the first “big” biography on David Foster Wallace depends on your expectations. If you are looking for a straightforward depiction of a life’s events, Max’s take covers all the principal mile markers of Wallace’s life. Expectations for more than that, however, may result in disappointment. The book begins with Wallace’s childhood and ends with his suicide, detailing both the highs (his marriage to Karen Green) and lows (his string of breakdowns that began in college). There is the mutating public and critical opinion of his work, his troubled history with women, and his tendency to roam for much of his life while he struggled to balance writing and relationships, and writing and well-being. A substantial amount of the text is spent on Wallace’s correspondence with family and friends, including Don DeLillo and Jonathan Franzen, whom Wallace confided in and used as sounding boards for his writing difficulties and his broader life fears. But the dialogue presented in the book is vastly one-sided in Wallace’s favor, and no one else is given enough space to become more than a supportive acquaintance—his father and sister are scarcely mentioned after the first chapter. The facts are all there, but Max (The Family That Couldn’t Sleep: Unraveling a Medical Mystery) often seems in a hurry to report them, rarely stopping to explore Wallace’s struggles with his social identity or his creative evolution. The book’s “slowest” moment is perhaps its strongest: a small chunk of pages devoted to Wallace’s shift to “single-entendre writing” as a reaction against the pervasive irony of the ’90s—the turning point that became the beating heart of Infinite Jest. Distancing and destructive by nature, irony, as Max writes, “got dangerous when it became a habit.” Suddenly for Wallace, “sincerity was a virtue and saying what you meant a calling.” One wishes Max would have spent more time on such insights. Instead, the quick pace becomes the book’s central flaw, with the potential for immersion quashed by the book’s own need to finish. While this will certainly satisfy those curious about Wallace’s chronology, it’s hard not to expect more from a biography on a writer of Wallace’s stature. (Sept.) Gabe Habash is a news editor at Publishers Weekly.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from August 15, 2012
        A thorough, understated account of the life of the pioneering author and how his addictions and fiction intersected. Before his suicide, David Foster Wallace (1962-2008) pursued a host of paths as a writer. He was a showy ironist who drafted his Pynchon-esque debut novel, The Broom of the System (1987), while an undergraduate student at Amherst. He was a bright philosopher who wrote at length on Wittgenstein and infinity. He was a skilled (if not always factually rigorous) reporter who covered state fairs, politics and tennis with intelligence and style. But the biggest inspiration for his admirers was the compassion, wit and understanding of our media-soaked age that emerged in later novels like Infinite Jest (1996) and the posthumous The Pale King (2011). In this appropriately contemplative biography, New Yorker staff writer Max (The Family that Couldn't Sleep: A Medical Mystery, 2006) avoids overdramatizing climactic events in Wallace's life, though it had plenty of emotional turmoil. Wallace was hospitalized for addiction and depression multiple times, and even at his steadiest he could collapse into rages. (Max chronicles in detail Wallace's disastrous relationship with memoirist Mary Karr.) Max emphasizes the psychological tug of war within Wallace, who struggled to reconcile his suspicion of mass media with a habitual gulping down of hours of it; his high-minded pursuit of art with a need for emotional and sexual attention; and his resolve to blend entertaining fiction and dense philosophy. Max draws upon the rich trove of Wallace's papers (he was an inveterate letter writer) and dozens of interviews, from Alcoholics Anonymous sponsors to literary contemporaries like Jonathan Franzen. Wallace's family relationships get relatively short shrift, but it's clear that under the veneer of a successful, brainy novelist was an eager-to-please native Midwesterner. A stellar biography of a complicated subject: Max's portrait skillfully unites Wallace's external and internal lives.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        April 1, 2012

        Appearing in The New Yorker a year after David Foster Wallace's suicide, Max's "The Unfinished: David Foster Wallace's Struggle To Surpass Infinite Jest" really fired up readers. Here Max details Wallace's struggles to become a novelist while circumventing depression and addiction and also explores his powerful impact on American letters--particularly as a symbol of integrity in an increasingly slick world.

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from September 15, 2012
        As endlessly interpretable writer David Foster Wallace's first biographer, New Yorker staff writer Max seeks to be foundational. His straight-ahead approach corrals the commotion of Wallace's struggle with his epic artistic visions, substance abuse, and severe depression into an involving, fast-flowing narrative rich in facts and free of speculation. So seamless is Max's reportage that one loses sight of how many sources he consulted to fully chronicle young Illinoisan Wallace's inherited passions for language and philosophy, spectacular academic achievements, self-medication with pot and alcohol, chaotic relationships, teaching gigs, and sustaining alliances with his agent, editors, guiding light Don DeLillo, and friend Jonathan Franzen. Max presents meticulous coverage of off-the-charts-smart Wallace's literary intentions and innovations, from his impressive early first book, The Broom of the System (1987), to his nonfiction escapades to the bludgeoning demands of his masterpiece, Infinite Jest (1996), and The Pale King (2011), the brilliant novel this MacArthur fellow left unfinished when he committed suicide, in 2008, at age 46, at which point this biography abruptly concludes. Max's thorough account of Wallace's breakdowns, stints in psychiatric institutions and a halfway house, and profound reliance on support groups reveals the conviction and risks inherent in Wallace's mission to write with integrity, humor, sincerity, and artistic incandescence and to make the head throb heartlike. (Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2012, American Library Association.)

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The acclaimed New York Times–bestselling biography and "emotionally detailed portrait of the artist as a young man" (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)
In the first biography of the iconic David Foster Wallace, D.T. Max paints the portrait of a man, self-conscious, obsessive and struggling to find meaning. If Wallace was right when he declared he was "frightfully and thoroughly conventional," it is only because over the course of his short life and stunning career, he wrestled intimately and relentlessly with the fundamental anxiety of being human. In his characteristic lucid and quick-witted style, Max untangles Wallace's anxious sense of self, his volatile and sometimes abusive connection with women, and above all, his fraught relationship with fiction as he emerges with his masterpiece Infinite Jest. Written with the cooperation of Wallace's family and friends and with access to hundreds of unpublished letters, manuscripts and journals,...
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